What is Really Needed to Succeed: Emotional Quotient vs. Intelligence Quotient

Irene Rufferty
Published in
6 min readJan 10, 2018


Before we start, let’s see what these two terms really mean. Why Emotional Quotient vs. Intelligence Quotient have recently become so vital topic for discussion? The truth is that the terms have a direct connection with the professional activities and are interrelated in the context of achieving success in the business workplace.

Emotional Intellect (EI) Origins

Emotional intellect is the ability to understand one’s own emotions and control them to effectively solve variety life problems.

First the interest in emotional intelligence was spotted in the early XX century due to the inability of classical IQ tests (intelligence coefficient) explain the features of people’s motivation and behavior, especially in their professional activity.

What is it like to live without emotions? Why does music affect our emotions so much? How it all’s related to our success? And other issues are often viewed in the context of emotional intellect.

Even earlier, the ancient Greeks thought about the emotional intelligence, believing that a wise person is the one that can unite the mind, logic and emotions, but not the one who‘s just smart. That is why philosophers were so honored and the philosophy teachings were valued even more than sciences.

Despite the fact that it was two and a half thousand years ago, the question of human emotions remained the same.

Back in 1870, in the book ‘The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals’, 1872 Charles Darwin made an attempt to study human emotions through external manifestations. Thus, the concept of emotional intelligence (or EI) in its modern sense arose at the beginning of the XX century.

In 1920, American psychologist Edward Thorndike first introduced the concept of social intelligence as a person’s ability to reasonably act in relationships with other people.

In 1983, Howard Gardner proposed the theory of multiple intelligence, dividing the intellect into inner (own emotions) and interpersonal (emotions of others).

Journalist Daniel Goleman popularized the notion by publishing the book “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995.

Emotional Intelligence Nowadays

It is known that the level of IQ is an objective indicator of mental abilities that can not be changed. The coefficient of intelligence pre determines success in school, at work, etc. And what about success in life?

Researchers note that high emotional intelligence positively affects the ability to work even more than IQ. Since emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to perceive his/her own emotions, it also affects the ability to work in a team and catch the mood of colleagues, unlike intelligence.

Unlike IQ, which is laid genetically, a person can develop, regulate and increase his emotional intelligence throughout his/her life and achieve success in the areas where single intelligence works less.

It is important to understand that the indicator of social skills is not less important for personal growth and success in life than the ability to think logically or solve mathematical problems, etc., which is formal intelligence.

‘To understand whether there is any reason to talk about low emotional intelligence, you should pay attention to everyday thoughts, deeds, feelings and emotions.’

The main points that can be indicators of low EQ:

-Insecurity in oneself and your actions,
-Tendency to excessive self-criticism,
-Inability to find a common language with others, etc.

That is, people with low emotional intelligence, may at the same time seem more modest and open-minded about others.

The structure of emotional competence by Goleman:

Personal competence (it determines how much we are able to control ourselves):

  • Self-awareness (knowledge of our internal states, preferences, opportunities, etc.),
  • Self-regulation (Ability to control our inner states and motivations),
  • Motivation (Emotional inclinations that guide or facilitate the achievement of goals).

Social competence (it determines how well we are able to regulate relationships):

  • Empathy (Awareness of the feelings, needs and concerns of other people),
  • Social skills (The art of evoking desired reactions in others).

Thus, Emotional Quotient (EQ) relates to a worker’s comprehension of his or her feelings alongside his or her associates’ feelings at the work environment to make better work coordination and condition. In one examination, experienced colleagues with high EI (Emotional Intelligence) conveyed $1.2 million extra benefit from their records in a multinational company.

Speaking about Intelligence Quotient (IQ), it characterizes the level of insight a representative has to comprehend, translate, and actualize while learning in differed circumstances, prompting his or her development, and the company’s, of course. Therapists for the most part concur that among the elements for progress, IQ means approximately 10%, (best case scenario 25%); all the rest is more likely to rely upon everything else, including EQ. (Bressert, 2007)

And of course, IQ is predominantly used to quantify one’s subjective capacities, for example, the ability to learn or see new circumstances; thinking through a given scrape or setting, and the capacity to apply the information in current conditions, etc. Emotional Intelligence (EI) abilities don’t confine themselves to sensitivity, instinct, creative ability, adaptability, stress management, honesty, validity, interpersonal aptitudes and relational abilities, yet reach out far beyond these.

In everyday practice at work, an employee with a higher EI rather than those with the higher intelligence can convince the colleagues about anything by appealing to their emotions rather than presenting facts and figures.

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

That is an advantage similar to those of an introvert over an extrovert. When working in an organization, judging an individual’s EI, keep in mind how he\she may:

  • Grasp and apply his or her own feelings to the point;
  • Express his or her emotions, convictions, and thoughts;
  • Perceive and value his or her own potential;
  • Deal with both his or her own personal & professional life under anxiety and pressure;
  • Adjust to various workplaces and handle different challenges that come his or her way, etc.
  • Have self-assurance;
  • Not just work towards the development of the organization yet in addition toward the development of his or her colleagues, and self.

In ideal, for a better outcome, workers must create correspondence and hierarchical aptitudes for good basic leadership and additionally great relations with associates. A person’s prosperity rate at work relies upon his or her EQ and in addition IQ in the proportion 80:20, which is called Pareto principle. Yeah, old, good principle we all know and face nearly in every life aspect.

Why Pareto again? Simply because EQ helps individuals build and maintain relations with peers and superiors, increases productivity, and opens doors for clarity in communication (good listening is integral to EQ). Research carried out by The Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that IQ can help you be successful to the extent of just 20 percent in life. The rest 80 percent success depends on your EQ; 80% EQ 20% IQ.

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So, often wise companies with careful recruitment, rather have a look and pick a person with EQ than with IQ. Having a high IQ will help in developing intrapersonal aptitudes to a specific degree, but not at all like EQ, which discusses one’s character in view of the way he or she composes or answers to mail, teams up and coordinates with associates and subordinates, and works towards achieving company objectives, and his/her own, as well.

And what do you think?